Despite rumors, a battle is in play between hotels vs. Airbnb and homestay services like VRBO, the hotel market continues to generate billions each year. And, much to the relief of anyone with a career in hospitality: it turns out people still stay in hotels during bear markets. Today, hotels are alive and well.
And the future is bright and full of innovative technology and new ways to travel. Trends come and go, but when it comes to the characteristics of a great hotel, there are some attributes you simply cannot afford to overlook.
In this post, we’ll discuss some of the characteristics that make good hotels great. From hotel services, amenities, and personnel to cleanliness and comfort, even the latest technology and most beautiful luxuries could not make up for lack of these core characteristics of great hotels.
What Makes a Good Hotel?
If you’ve ever left a hotel feeling particularly amazed at how great your experience was, chances are, they only had to get a few things right. These things may seem insignificant. Their impact, however, is anything but.
Do the little things, brilliantly.
As cliche as it is, the little things really do make the most meaningful impact when it comes to excellent hotel service. Best in class does not always go to the lodging with the most expensive furniture or the latest technology–although that certainly helps.
Doing the little things brilliantly means perfecting the art of hospitality itself. In a 2018 TedX Talk, celebrity and entrepreneurial coach, Anna Dolce stated,
“Service without hospitality is simply a transaction. And when we become transactional in business or in life, we cannot achieve sustainable success.”
Hotel staff with hospitality in their DNA
Hospitality is not only the responsibility of the service staff. It begins in the highest ranks and trickles down to the heart of each great hotel. Hotel management should take great care in their hiring process, bringing in new candidates who are passionate about serving people and will take pleasure in the job itself. Passionate, people-oriented, and authentic
Happy employees create happy customers. So it actually pays to take care of your staff, especially in the hotel business.
Great hotels support their top-tier teams by making them feel valued, empowered, and providing opportunities for growth and development. These simple incentives correlate with higher levels of job satisfaction, thus encouraging hotel staff members to perform their best.
Today, this may matter more than it ever has in the past. Modern consumers commonly share their experiences on social media. Unfortunately, as people, we are all more likely to remember a negative experience than a neutral one.
A guest may forget a one-night stay with Netflix and a comfortable mattress. But they will always remember that bartender went out of their way to make them feel valued during their first visit to a new hotel.
Fresh, clean, and tidy
First impressions are everything. Make sure yours communicates your commitment to cleanliness and comfort.
Great hotels understand what works, and have perfected the aesthetics of their establishment in every way. Whether a hotel is brimming with the latest interior design trends or sporting upcycled furniture from the 1980’s–if it is clean, orderly, and aesthetically appealing, it will keep people coming in the door.
When staying in a place that is not our own home, cleanliness and safety are generally top of mind. In fact, recent data suggests most Americans are concerned about bed bugs and subscribe to the belief that infestations are on the rise. To make matters worse, nearly 80 percent of Americans are the most concerned about encountering bed bugs in hotels. The best hotels squash those fears before they ever enter the minds of their guests.
Hotels With a Touch of Home
Or maybe your best friends’ house. Wherever it is, you feel very comfortable there. And you definitely plan on coming back.
In terms of defining what makes an excellent hotel, traveler-focused hotel services, amongst other extras, go a long way. This goes beyond the basics offered by every mid-scale hotel.
Great hotels adapt their services to be tailored to the needs of their guests. This can be as simple as keeping a few of the most commonly forgotten items on hand at the concierge desk. From phone chargers to razors and late-night snacks, the best hotels go beyond the basics. The extra mile is just the beginning.
Right in line with Valor Hospitality’s vision of reimagining hospitality, many hotels adjust their services to suit the guests who most frequently fill their rooms each night. Taking guest-centric services to the next level, this creates hotels suited explicitly to emerging, longterm lifestyles. Whether the bulk of visitors consist of business travelers or millennial-minded adventurists–personalized service is definitely a stop on the road to success.
Home* Suite Home Hotels has taken this concept and turned it into a line of boutique hotels catered to a new breed of travelers. Commonly known as bleisure travelers, these frequent flying professionals are hard-working folks with an appreciation for a little bit of leisure with their business travel.
Located just far enough from the action, Home* Suite Hotel flagship location is somewhat of a sanctuary near the city. Conveniently located near significant retailers and other nearby attractions, it is the ideal accommodation for work with a little entertainment on the side.
You’ve gotta have Wi-Fi
The value of internet access is high when you consider the current state of the working world.
According to a 2019 survey by National Car Rental, more business travelers are incorporating leisure time into their business trips. The study contains data gathered from 1,000 U.S. frequent business travelers.
Of the participants, 85% revealed they felt pressure to keep up with their regular job responsibilities on top of business trip objectives.
Although hotels can operate without Wi-Fi, many modern travelers consider it essential. As we continue to see young professionals trend toward remote work and self-employment, hotels without Wi-Fi may ultimately turn out to be a deal-breaker. The best hotels take into consideration what their guests need most and adjust accordingly.
It may also be imperative to note that complimentary Wi-Fi is available at many budget hotels in 2019. In short, great hotels perfect the standards to raise them. And stay on top of the trends– at least the important ones.
Something to stand out
The most exceptional hotels are those we remember and return home raving about. These hotels are anything but average. One way or another, they found a way to stand out.
Whether it’s a little piece of history, a landmark, a distinct vibe, or maybe even a curated vinyl collection–a little character can set great hotels apart from average hotels. No matter how small the unique characteristic may be–great hotels find some way to stand out against the typical, cookie-cutter competition.
And it works. Waitresses have been known to increase tips by merely wearing a ribbon in their hair or another distinguishing accessory.